Nearly Didn't Happen!
When District 1230 decided not to run RYLA this year, Eastwood’s Rob Wilkinson our Youth Convenor was undeterred. Convinced of the benefits of RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), he contacted District 1020 and asked if our club could send candidates to their camp. These take place at the Abernethy Trust’s Outdoor and Adventure Centre at Ardeonaig, the venue for all the camps since the first ones that were organised by West Linton & District R.C. in 1991!
Two candidates from our local East Renfrewshire High Schools – Courtney McCann and Sean Douglas Kellie –were selected to go forward. The selection process focusses very much on identifying youngsters who will benefit from a confidence boosting week and is done in participation with local school leaders. The youngsters experience working in teams and have the opportunity to lead teams, overcome their fears and essentially be transformed by the experience.
Change for the Better
Eastwood have participated in RYLA for over 8 years and our youth committee members are always astonished at the change in students before and after their RYLA week. Each student is invited back to do a presentation on their week at RYLA and invariably every talk ends with “I never, ever thought I would be able to stand in front of so many people and do a presentation!”.
Not All Plain Sailing
This year’s camp wasn’t without incident. Courtney McCann took ill while on the Munro climb and had to be airlifted off by helicopter to the local hospital! Despite that, she returned to speak at the club and was hugely positive about her experiences… up to that point, at least!